When I started my blog, I had a couple things that I hoped to get out of the experience – I wanted to have the opportunity to work with HTML on a regular basis (yes, all my articles are written using raw HTML and without any visual editor); I wanted to have a place where I could express my thoughts and ideas without having to hold back; and most importantly, I wanted to improve my informal writing skills… I’ve definitely come a long way since then!
Lately I’ve been working on a new redesigned HTML5 version of my blog – I had originally hoped to have it ready for my blog’s anniversary date, but unfortunately WordPress’ code is so disorganized and all over the place, it’s taking me much longer than it should. And, to be fair to WordPress, I also haven’t had a huge amount of time to work on it either. I kind of anticipated this might be the case, so I think it was more of a "it would be nice if…" goal, and my real goal is to have it up by .
The hard part about it is that I’m not just coding up a theme, I’m also making major changes to my custom plugin(s) to improve functionality, make things more efficient (for me mostly), and also to do a myriad of custom things as well. One of my big goals is to drastically improve page load times and improve backend efficiency. Another goal is to automate a lot of things to make it much easier (and faster) for me to create new articles…
On the visual front, (I’m not anywhere close to that point yet, but I always think/plan ahead), I’m going to use dmred.ca and DanielMenjivar.com as a starting point. If there’s anything you particularly like (or don’t like) about either of those sites, let me know before I start committing changes! At this point, I’m thinking the final product will look very similar to DM Red… I think.
Apart from the obvious benefits (and cool factor) of using HTML5 video (and audio) on my blog, one of the changes I’m most looking forward to is improving the way image galleries are displayed. Most of my articles these days include more than one photo and I find it annoying that to view the large versions of the photos, you have to individually click on each one. Yes, that will be fixed! (It will look like the photos page on DanielMenjivar.com.)
I’m also noticing that a lot of people are reading my blog solely via email updates and I’m debating on stripping down the RSS feeds to just article excerpts to encourage people to actually visit my blog to read the whole article, or not. What do you think? Since the beginning, I’ve wanted to encourage more dialog through the comments section and that hasn’t been too successful yet. (Write more comments people!)
Anyways, the changes coming will be awesome and I can’t wait to get them up. If you have any tips or suggestions (even constructive criticism) please let me know!